TIME energy

Danger Beneath: ‘Fracking’ Gas, Oil Pipes Threaten Rural Residents

A crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa on Feb. 28. 2013.
Keith Srakocic—AP A crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa on Feb. 28. 2013.

A construction boom of pipelines carrying explosive oil and natural gas from “fracking” fields to market — pipes that are bigger and more dangerous than their predecessors -– poses a safety threat in rural areas, where they sometimes run within feet or yards of homes with little or no safety oversight, an NBC News investigation has found.

The rapidly expanding network of pipes, known as “gathering lines,” carry oil and gas from fracking fields in many parts of the country to storage facilities and major “transmission lines.” They are subject to the same risks – corrosion, earthquakes, sabotage and construction accidents — as transmission lines…

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